Arthropod Vector Science for the benefit of society: Educate, Empathize, Engage

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

It is with great pleasure we invite you to the 21st European Society for Vector Ecology (E-SOVE) conference that will be held in October in beautiful Palermo, Sicily. The primary goal of these conferences has always been to bring together scientists from the field of vector ecology and control, in order to share current research development, enhance networking and increase visibility of everyone’s accomplishments. The meetings are always highly informative with diverse presentations, exceptionally great quality of talks, with ample opportunities to socialize with each other while enjoying the local beauty and traditions of our host country. So, I am hopeful and confident that the Palermo meeting will meet and surpass everyone’s expectations!

We – scientists - have made remarkable progress in the recent years to communicate and network with each other, as it is evident by the increasing number of collaborative international projects and networking activities. But how active are we in engaging with the public and the policy makers? And when we do, are we using the right “language”? If someone looks at some of the public’s perspective on vaccination, GMOs, and global warming it becomes clear that there is a certain measure of doubt and even fear of science and technology And how is this relevant to our field? What about the release of sterile and/or transgenic mosquitoes? Or what about the emergency response plans to WNV outbreaks in Greece and Texas with aerial ULV space spray applications? How do the public and the regulators perceive these technologies? We say “transgenic mosquitoes” people think “mosquito mutant/monsters”. We say “ULV space sprays” they think “spray with carcinogenic chemicals”.

Some of this doubt is based on misinformation or may be a consequence of an important communication gap between scientists and society. We are often so caught up in our scientific agendas and the need to excel through publishing that we may neglect or simply not know how to reach out to the public. So, how can we strengthen our links with our communities in order to improve their understanding and trust in science and, also, to better prioritize our scientific goals based on societal needs? Nowadays, more than ever, we have access to tools to achieve this goal.

I look forward to addressing this important issue with all of you along with the help of communication experts that will share with us their experiences.

Alex Chaskopoulou
E-SOVE Director


 

Key Dates

Opening for registration:         23rd April 2018
End early-bird registration: 20th September 2018
Opening for Submissions:       23rd April 2018
Deadline for Submissions:      15 th August 2018
Notification to Authors:       15th September 2018